The Hamilton Spectator
Gushue repeats as Brier champion
Championship on the line and a chance to draw for the win. This was Brad Gushue’s wheelhouse and he delivered again Sunday when it counted most.
With Manitoba sitting two in the 10th end, Gushue drew the fourfoot ring with his final shot to win his fifth Tim Hortons Brier title in seven years.
“I trusted it. We made it. It’s awesome,” Gushue said.
Manitoba’s Matt Dunstone gave up three points in the eighth end — the first multiple-point end of the game — but responded with a deuce in the ninth.
He tapped a rock with his final shot in the 10th to put the pressure on his opponent. But just like he did in his first Brier win back in 2017 at home in St. John’s, N.L., Gushue came through.
“I thought I nailed it and the guys judged it perfectly,” he said. “You just have to trust 25 or 30 years of work that you put in.”
There were some nerves though as Gushue settled into the hack at Budweiser Gardens. He missed a draw in the sixth end and was heavy with both throws in the seventh.
“I was just trying not to overthrow it,” he said.
“I didn’t feel like I was dialed in 100 per cent, so that made it a little bit more nervy.”
His game-winner in 2017 needed a major sweep to reach the eightfoot. This time, lead Geoff Walker and second E.J. Harnden scrubbed it over the first half of the sheet before cleaning it the rest of the way.
“I’ve had the opportunity to watch that a few times,” said Gushue vice Mark Nichols. “I never get sick of it.”
Dunstone, hands in his pockets, could only stand and watch the rock settle beside the button.
“We were down and out after the eighth end and we made him throw a tough shot to win the Brier,” he said. “It just speaks volumes about this team.”
Dunstone reached the title game earlier in the day with a 7-5 win over Wild Card 1’s Brendan Bottcher.
Gushue beat Kevin Koe in last year’s final in Lethbridge, Alta.
His team will represent Canada at the April 1-9 world men’s curling championship in Ottawa.